Keystone Pipeline: Canadian firm asks for postponement
After Obama staff says he will rule before leaving
This morning (six hours ago, Eastern time), Reuters reported that President Barack Obama is expected to make a decision about the TransCanada Corp. petition for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline before he leaves office.
A half-hour ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that TransCanada Corporation sent a letter to the U.S. State Department asking that it “pause its review of the Presidential Permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline.”
“We are asking State to pause its review of Keystone XL based on the fact that we have applied to the Nebraska Public Service Commission for approval of its preferred route in the state,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “I note that when the status of the Nebraska pipeline route was challenged last year, the State Department found it appropriate to suspend its review until that dispute was resolved. We feel under the current circumstances a similar suspension would be appropriate.”
TransCanada’s move comes as the State Department was in the final stages of review, with a decision to reject the permit expected as soon this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
TransCanada applied for the latest Keystone Pipeline project in September 2008; the U.S. State Department reviews cross-border projects. Environmentalists as well as landowners in Washington and Nebraska have objected to the proposal.
Canadian Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau supports the Keystone XL pipeline.
Assuming that the Obama Administration honors the request, any decision would probably be postponed until after January 2017. Currently, all major Republican Presidential candidates support the Keystone XL project; all Democrats oppose the proposal.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Posted at 4:25 pm, Pacific; updated with additional information at 4:35 (no corrections).